Our friends are over from the UK, so for the past few days we have been showing them the delights of Taipei. They have also been exploring other parts of the island by themselves. Last week we all got the plane to Penghu, and then from there we took a boat tour and scooter ride around the small sparsely populated outer island of Wangan.
We were almost not going to go based of bad weather reports, but the weather couldn’t have been better. Blue skies, blazing sun, a fresh and strong wind free from the constant Taipei humidity, it felt like another country. Our friends got quite burnt thinking their factor 20 British sunscreen would be enough for the Taiwan sun, it wasn’t. Sadly Fiona got struck down with some sort of bug while we were visiting the green turtle conservation centre on Wangan, and was expelling liquids out of each end.
We found a nice captain who put us on his boat, along with a tour of taiwanese people who didn’t seem too please that 4 westerners were on their privately chartered boat, but the captain stuck up for us saying that we were his friends.
We sat in the captains area which was cool (the cockpit of the boat) but had to go home via a 40 minute stop over at an even smaller island while the tour group got off and looked around. The captain located the doctors practice which was amazing that such a small island had one, and fiona was given some medicine. We touched back down in Penghu and Fiona admitted herself into hospital to get on a drip. In the evening we all went to a vegan restaurant with our Penghu friends Chloe and Bella and then at 9pm watched the Penghu fireworks which were spectacular.
Yesterday, whilst back in Taiwan, the weather switched from bright blue skies to thunderstorms in about 5 minutes, so we went to the museum of world religions, (entry price $150/$100 concession) which despite my lack of interest in organised religion, was a rather spectacular building, architecturally and it was interesting having a refresher course of the world’s religions that have got rather muddled in my head since stopping religious education back in primary school. The best part was the central exhibition which had giant replicas of famous churches/mosques/temples.
The model of Chartres cathedral was the only one I had visited, but it was amazingly detailed with all its flying buttresses and even the internals of the building we replicated and accessible by a joy stick and a remote control car that pans around the internals of the buildings.
In the evening we met up with our other two friends from the UK and on a spur of the moment went to KTV karaoke. £10 was the asking price which seemed steep at first, but with it came 3 hours of badly sung songs from the 90’s/00’s and an all you can eat buffet much like a hotel.